Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers gave us a nice break from the failures on the football field tonight, getting their feet wet with 86-44 win over Carson Newman.
The Vols debuted their new look roster with an onslaught of three point attempts in the first half — 24 to be exact. Tennessee hit five shots from beyond the arc to start their scoring on the night, taking a 15-3 lead in the process.
They would eventually cool off, but they kept firing away. By halftime, Tennessee had built a 45-25 lead. From a competitive standpoint, that would about do it for this one.
A 17-2 run for the Vols out of the halftime break buried Carson Newman as the Volunteers cruised to a 42 point exhibition win. This was exactly what you wanted to see in an exhibition opener — a clean, dominant win.
Grant Williams led the way for Tennessee with 18 points. He added 12 rebounds and 4 assists, continuing to build on the success that he enjoyed last year. With most of the new pieces in place tonight, Williams was still the guy for the Vols.
Admiral Schofield added 17 points tonight. He was perfect from the free throw line (7-7) and came down with 5 rebounds. Jordan Bowden was the only other Volunteer in double figures with 11 points. The sophomore went 3-6 from the three point line.
Newcomer James Daniel played 23 minutes, adding six points and four assists. Chris Darrington wasn’t able to go due to an ankle injury, so it will be interesting to see how the guard rotation shakes out once he’s healthy.
Freshmen Derrick Walker, Yves Pons and Zach Kent all saw action tonight. Rick Barnes wasn’t kidding about his depth.
Tennessee shot 41 percent from the field (30-73) and 35 percent (12-34) from three. They were 14-20 from the free throw stripe.
Here’s the full box score.